Are You Mindfully or Mindlessly Tired?
We live in a go-go-go society. It often feels like our work is never done and that something is always demanding our attention. Surrounded by all this clamor and stress, no wonder we feel tired!
Actually, as long as you have a body, you will experience fatigue. Tiredness happens. But you will either be mindfully or mindlessly tired!
Mindless Versus Mindful Fatigue
You should prefer to be mindfully tired. Why? Because mindless fatigue can easily lead to negative repercussions like these:
- Grumpiness which you may take out on others
- Cravings for unhealthy foods or addictive substances to boost your low energy levels
- Feelings of depression or, at the very least, of complacency
- Habitual patterns of vegging-out or avoiding the world
- Repetitious and intensely negative thinking patterns
When we are mindfully tired, we may still experience difficulties like those listed above. But when we shine mindful awareness on our tired thoughts, feelings, and urges, they remove themselves from center stage and do not bother us to the same degree. With mindful awareness, issues of fatigue either dissipate or else we gain insight into them.
Monitor Your Energy Levels
Try to monitor your energy level periodically throughout the day. Do this especially when everything seems to be harder than usual. Check in with your body – does it feel heavy, sluggish, or slow? Check in with your mind – does it feel foggy or dull? Check in with your emotions – do they feel heavy, dark, or lifeless? If any of these signs are present, you are most experiencing fatigue on a physical plane, mental plane, emotional plane, or on multiple planes.
If you recognize that you’re tired, bring your awareness to all the sensations of fatigue. Do not wish these sensations away. Accept them. Allow your mindful awareness to illuminate your present experience, mentally noting the sensations you encounter (heavy, dark, slow, thick, foggy, etc.). Sometimes, fatigue will lift almost immediately with mindful awareness. If not, stay present with the sensations of fatigue. Remaining present makes your mind a fertile field from which insight can bloom.
Applying Wisdom to Fatigue
Sometimes insights arise in the shape of an intuitive thought, feeling, or internal voice that presents you with a nugget of wisdom. For example…
- You just need a short nap or a good night’s sleep.
- You need to stop trying to force some situation to happen.
- It’s time to let yourself off the hook and stop expecting so much from yourself.
- Your body is needing exercise.
- You are being worn down by external negative influences (which you may have chosen or allowed).
- Your mind/body could benefit from a positive change of environment.
- Your body is crying out for healthy food.
- You need a break – a day off, weekend off, or even a week off.
- You more quality time with the people you love.
- You need additional (and perhaps professional) help and support.
- You are fighting off illness.
Do your best to listen to and act on these wisdom nuggets born from mindfulness. They will help you bring balance back to your mind/body/heart, and your energy levels will eventually re-stabilize. If, however, you make wise lifestyle changes, and your energy levels do not improve, you may be under some chronic stress that you need to address, or you may need to seek the guidance of a health care professional.
Mindfulness and Energy
Mindfulness can be a powerful tool for overcoming fatigue. It allows you to recognize when fatigue is the cause of a current problem, and it offers you an intuition-based problem-solving ability. Furthermore, regular mindfulness practice is itself a source of energy. As you clear away mental cobwebs and constrictions with mindfulness meditation, your innate natural energy is free to flow and to grow. The more you practice mindfulness, the more energy you will experience in your day-to-day life.